How to Catch a (Business) Shark
Christina: Hi I’m Christina Daves, serial entrepreneur, award-winning inventor, and the best selling author of PR for Anyone™ 100+ Affordable Ways to Easily Create Buzz for Your Business (www.prforanyonebook.com). Welcome to this week’s edition of Expert’s Corner.
I’m so excited today that we have with us Anthony Amos who just wrote a book How to Catch a Shark (www.howtocatchashark.com). For those of you who follow me you know that I am such a believer that you can connect with anybody, it’s all about networking, it’s all about who you know, who they know. I’ve had insane success with it, and when I learned about Anthony I had to bring him on because his story is unbelievable.
He came from another country and the people he’s connected with here in such a short amount of time. I’m going to let him share his amazing story to inspire you all to realize that anything is possible. Welcome Anthony to Expert’s Corner.
Anthony: Thank you for having me Christina. I really appreciate you reaching out and wanting me to be a part of your show or your model that you’re working with. As I said to you earlier on I was really excited that I was talking to somebody that’s very much in-line with my thought process on how to actually connect with, not just anybody, but the right people that can really get you to another place so fast and so quick that you often ask yourself, “Why was I waiting around all that time not being in the right place.” Yeah, it’s great to be on your program.
Christina: Good. Just start with your story, because you obviously have an accent, you’re not from here, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Tell us what brought you here and just this amazing success you’ve had with connecting with some really huge, huge business people here in the United States.
Anthony: Well, I guess, it started out in the … Well put it this way, I was playing professional football, went straight from high school and was playing professional football, I’ve always sort of been an entrepreneur. I think you know from an early age, when being told what to do and you fight against the rules, gives you a little bit of an indication you’d might be an entrepreneur.
Anthony: Playing football from the age of five up until 30 is when I actually played the last game, but 2 professional football years in between which is straight out of high school, I had a problem with being told what to do at that level. Being my dream to be playing professional football, I love the environment; I love the professionalism and all that, but again being told what to do, and more being a pawn than being your own person was the missing piece to me. In our down time I started a company called HydroDog, which is a mobile grooming franchise, of all things, this big footballer had gone out there washing dogs.
Christina: And the little ones probably too.
Anthony: That’s right. Yes, I know. My mates used to say, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you’re out there washing dogs.” It started before the grooming process basically, so we would literally just be washing dogs and it was $10 a dog. We grew our business pretty fast. It was really, really successful. We turned it into a franchise, and became the largest franchise of its kind in the world. There’s over 200 franchises in Australia today. It’s a big blue dog that goes to your home and washes and grooms your dogs. You can check it out on the internet it’s a pretty exciting product.
Anyway we were very young, very successful early. We were very, very enthusiastic to have that sort of money at such a young age. Then we sold the company HydroDog it was for a record sum and, I don’t know, something changed in us to want to do bigger and better. What do we do? We went into property. We got into property-
Christina: Because you knew so much about that.
Anthony: Exactly, being young and silly I think we wanted to get into that next level and we know nothing about that. That’s a lesson to take away right there, is don’t jump into something because you’re following the money, you’ve got to jump into something because you’re just in love with it and passionate, you want to wake up each day to do something better.
The economy turned upside down, and we’re in the middle of building a very large Ramada resort, it’s 100 million dollar resort and we were on track and it’s a bit of a big deal. We’re talking early 30s now, and then the economy turned upside down, our funder went into liquidation, our project sits, it stops. We didn’t lose the land but we lost the development.
I said to my wife, “Let’s take HydroDog to America, because that is really what I know.” I’ve been doing it for 15 years. We sold over 400 franchises, and when I say that there were territories that sold 3 and 4 and 5 different times in those areas. Some people sold them for profit. Some people sold them because they didn’t like it. Over the period of 10 years we sold a lot. I knew that this business back and front, so I said, “Let’s go to America.”
Christina: A lot of dirty dogs in the US.
Anthony: You better believe it. You’re talking like, what is it? 1.5 billion dogs over here.
Anthony: It’s insane. I’m going to tell you it wasn’t easy. The decision was easy but leaving your homeland, and I love this saying, there’s two meanings to this saying, you say never burn a bridge, which means never ruin a relationship with someone which is what I live by, but burn the bridges behind you is a different story. If you remember Troy, when Troy was invaded they burned all the ships basically on the beaches and said, “If you don’t take over Troy you’re not going to get home, you’re going to die.”
Anthony: At that moment, right, and then obviously they take over Troy, that’s a little bit like us, we pretty much sold everything up and had nothing left in Australia and just burned all the bridges behind us and came to America for this chance of HydroDog. I had no idea how I was going to do it, that’s the guards on the street, I just knew I could.
Finding the right pieces, partners, and getting into the marketplace was pretty important. That was the initial … What I didn’t understand then about finding your right shark, I found the wrong shark because I was looking for the money to build and get hold of all running again-
Christina: Which a lot of people do, they’d see that and they see that as the open door, “Oh they can fund my business.” That’s not necessarily the right person to be in business with.
Anthony: No. That’s what I’ve done a great detail with the book is that people really, they feel something in their gut called the intuition, or a funny feeling, or an enlightenment from the universe, or whatever. You’d know sometimes when you’re speaking to someone, we spoke about this today, you and I are very, very in-line with our principles and beliefs. We don’t know where they came from for us to be in-line like that but it’s true.
Christina: Something brought us.
Anthony: Exactly, and you can feel that with people. I knew that this was the wrong guy, but I thought we could go past that because we needed the money to fund the business.
Anthony: That was the real lesson I learned being in the US, is that you really need to make sure that that gatekeeper is so congruent and align with your beliefs that it will get you to the next stage not just for the money. When it doesn’t work out you go, “Damn it. I knew that wasn’t going to work.” That’s what you hold in life through and so something happens like that.
What I love to, I don’t want to use brag, but what I do love to say after 2 years of being in this country I knew not one person, as in zero, and the being the circles and the relationships that I’ve got today like Kevin Harrington, one of my best mates off the Shark Tank. Yet how do you do that from another country?
Christina: In 2 years.
Anthony: 2 years, we’re going into our, it will be over our 3rd now, but when you think of how infinite that time frame is to getting to those sort of circles that way it just says a lot about the methodology of being congruent with somebody, adding value, and then once you wake up in the morning and go, “Oh, I love being in business with this person.” That’s what it’s all about today.
The old day of being the dictator and telling people what … Everybody went through a massive crisis when the economy turned upside down, whether you were in the front line or whether your children are in the back line. There was a time frame of that family that went through some sort of a change, some sort of an adjustment. You can hurt people’s feelings like you used to be able to be able to because they’re a lot more hardened today, so you have to come in with that niceness.
Christina: One really important thing you said, and said really quickly, and we talked about it a lot that it’s adding value to that person. What can you do for them? People who know me, a group that I was in they always had the give, give, get philosophy, and that’s how I live my life, and that’s how I run my business. Give to other people, it will come back to you, you can’t just chase after people for their celebrity or their money or their connections, it’s what can you do for them that helps them, and then who know, either they may help you or somebody else might help you down the line.
Anthony: That’s exactly right. This is where I believe, this is where I feel I’ve got that little bit of a niche deliverable, it would fit this exact conversation, is that you have to make sure you’re congruent first with that person that you’re wanting to add the value. If you’re going into this relationship thinking, “Okay, well they’re in golf industry and I really would love them to open up a door for me.” You really think he’s not a nice person then why would you want to add value just to get into the front door with a recommendation from this guy.
Anthony: If you can feel the energy and feel that there’s something special that you really have … If you can instantly meet somebody nice straight away, you pretty much, pretty much can. I actually, I think you saw the interview I did with Nick Unsworth, I talked about a process of how I really went into great detail of understanding people’s personality, because when I met my wife she have this uncanny ability of telling me that person’s no good or that person’s amazing, it’s like, “How do you know this stuff?” I’ve never seen it so strong in a woman. I know that you’ve got it naturally.
Christina: Women’s intuition. Yeah.
Anthony: It’s incredible, but when she had the kids, it went through the roof, “I want a piece of that. I want to know what you know like that.” I worked out that … What I originally, I read a lot of books about understanding people’s personalities and what their traits are. They talk about different alignments of … They almost categorize it with some particular philosophy, so I took 4 of those and put, “I’m going to put people into 4 different baskets, and these 4 different personalities I’m going to really study.” It started out pretty simple because it was working for me, but then I met someone I was like, “Whoa, don’t even fit anywhere near those baskets. I’m going to make one up for that person.” Then all of a sudden I started putting people into those baskets. I know this sounds a little bit crazy but this is how it works for me. I ended up with 21 of these baskets, and each time I met somebody I would them put them into a basket of somebody I met before that I was now able to deliver a particular way or mannerism or wording or story, and they were like, “Whoa, you’re really good, that feels so much more comfortable.” I’ve done it to a level where that it’s more than just a normal conversation to them, someone’s taken a bit of an interest in their personality, that I met about George last week. It really worked well for my memory because I was starting to categorize people on the same wavelength but then it also gave me the understanding of what that particular person now-
Christina: The insight into them.
Anthony: Oh man, I became obsessed over because it became more of a … Look, I embarrass myself, I put myself in compromising positions, I went all out to find out how this sort of stuff works. I was saying to you earlier I love being 40 because 40 strips away all of the stuff that you made up you now know, and you can be in a conversation and answer the question you’re like, “How do I know that. Where did that come from.”
Anthony: You just seem to have this bank of knowledge now but you still feel like a 20 year old. That excitement to me gives us an upper hand, when you’re dealing with that sort of people. When I hit 40, the baskets just sort of went away. Now I can be in a conversation and really feel the intense, “No, do not do business, you’re not congruent.” It doesn’t mean you’re not nice, and you never say to anybody, “I’m sorry but I’m not congruent with you.”
You just know to how to defer and not spend time with that person because you might be bringing them down because you’re not congruent with them. It’s just you know that it’s not a match, but the ones that are, make the effort to jump in and know that there’s something special that you don’t even know what it is and add the value first.
Anthony: Before you know it …
Christina: The door is fly open.
Anthony: That’s the magic. That is the absolute magic.
Christina: That’s awesome. It’s exactly what I’ve been telling people over and over again. I’d love to share example after example that I’m not an anomaly it really does happen to everybody. Thank you Anthony Amos, and grab his book How to Catch a Shark at howtocatchashark.com, thanks.
Anthony: Thank you so much Christina, I really appreciate it.